As we told you in this article, we took advantage of having a file that was still presentable at a bank to get into debt and make a rental investment just before leaving on a trip around the world.
It was a project under the Malraux Law (rehabilitation of old buildings) which required heavy work. It is only 18 months after the signature that we recovered the keys. In the meantime, we had decided to continue to travel for an indefinite period of time, so it was essential to entrust the management of our apartment to a rental management agency.
We were in a hurry for several reasons:
- We had been paying off the loan for a few months now, so it was important to get a tenant in quickly to finance the monthly payments.
- If the date of the handing over of the keys coincided, fortunately, with a fast passage in France, we would stay only a few weeks. It had to be enough time to get everything sorted out
- As this was a real estate program for an entire building, many similar apartments were going to end up on the rental market and we were afraid of being doubled up and having trouble renting our apartment.
The property developer had a partnership with the Foncia agency and proposed us a rental management with two advantages :
- Preferential rates compared to Foncia’s usual rates
- Showing potential tenants a sample apartment before the apartments are even finished. Potentially interesting to save time.
We were eager enough to entrust our apartment to Foncia. Not having any experience in the field, we still decided to contact others, if only to compare prices.
I have contacted several of them through my Google searches. Bad surprise: most of them simply didn’t answer me or weeks after I contacted them. However, this inconvenience had the advantage of operating an effective filter.
However, I had the good surprise to be quickly contacted by the founder of the agency Ma Gestion Locative
Ma Gestion Locative is a rental management agency that relies on local real estate agencies to offer its services throughout France.
Concretely, Ma Gestion Locative takes care of the administrative part (leases, collection of payments, …) while the local agency manages the search for tenants, visits, inventory of fixtures and fittings, …
The first element of comparison which interested me was the rates, here is what it gives.
|Insurance for unpaid rent
|6.6% INCL. VAT
|3 % INCL. VAT
|9.6% INCL. VAT
|My Rental Management
|7.08% INCL. VAT
|1.90% INCL. VAT
|8.98% INCL. VAT
Management fees are based on the full amount of the rent received (i.e. including charges). Insurance for unpaid rent is optional but was important for our peace of mind.
Although we benefit from advantageous rates with Foncia, these are still more expensive than Ma Gestion Locative taking into account the unpaid rent insurance. However, the difference (0.62%) isn’t significant. With our level of rent, this represents a differential of around sixty euros per year.
It is theadditional costs that can make the difference (costs of finding a tenant, management of the work, inventory offixtures and fittings, …). At this little game, Foncia scared me with its “schedule of occasional fees” as long as the arm while My Rental Management simply refers to the Alur law that regulates fees.
The conditions of the unpaid rent insurance are also important to consider as there may be waiting periods and compensation ceilings.
Besides that, I had a favorable feeling with My Rental Management with whom I had a direct and reactive contact. This is important for us who are usually on the other side of the world, so we need a reliable and reactiveservice provider.
At the same time, I tried to find reviews on the internet. This isn’t easy since rental management agencies have two clients: landlords who put their property up for rent and private individuals looking for a place to rent. We mainly find reviews from the latter (who are generally not happy when they decide to publish a review…).
However, I have not detected any “corpse” on the side of My Rental Management which, although a small player, receives 50 million euros in annual rentals, which is largely several thousand properties. This is undoubtedly ridiculous compared to Foncia, but it is enough not to be a tiny actor who can disappear at any time.
The local real estate agency that was going to take care of our apartment, Stéphane Plaza Immobilier La Rochelle, was a young agency that seemed to already have a good reputation according to the identified opinions.
It is thus to Ma Gestion Locative and Stéphane Plaza Immobilier that we entrusted our rental management.
Not having any experience in key delivery appointments, we asked the agency if they could accompany us, which they agreed to do free of charge. This proved to be important because the real estate agent had the experience and the eye to identify small details to correct that we wouldn’t have seen.
So we were able to organize the same day :
- The appointment for the handing over of the keys
- The appointment for the DPE (Energy Performance Diagnosis)
- The handing over of the keys to the real estate agency
Since that day (18 months ago), we haven’t set foot in La Rochelle.
The agency was able to :
- Manage the final details to be corrected with the property developer
- Make the photos of the apartment for the rental ads
- Organize visits and find a tenant
- Organize the inventory of fixtures when entering the apartment
Please note that the search for a tenant was charged us a little less than one month’s rent excluding charges.
Between the handing over of the keys and the entry of the tenant, it took place less than 6 weeks.
Since 18 months we receive the rent on our account every 5th of the month by bank transfer.
My Rental Management is very reactive whether by e-mail or by phone (we had a small problem to manage with the trustee).
Our experience is only 18 months old and we have not yet had any work to do or new tenants to look for but we are for the moment delighted with our collaboration with Ma Gestion Locative.
The only small unpleasant surprise is that the outstanding rent insurance was increased last month from 1.9% to 2.5% . This brings total fees to almost the same level as Foncia’s (if they have not increased since). According to Ma Gestion Locative, this is the first increase in 7 years and is accompanied by an improvement in coverage